Trial of the Thalys attack: the alleged driver of the assailant denies the accusation

The TGV Thalys where the failed attack took place, on August 21, 2015. AP Photo

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3 min

On the second day of the trial of the failed Thalys attack on August 21, 2015, the court studied the route of the three men present in the accused's box alongside the assailant.

Among them, Mohamed Bakkali.

This 33-year-old Belgian, also presented as the alleged logistician of the November 13 attacks, challenged the accusation of complicity in attempted terrorist assassinations and terrorist association.


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I am not the driver.

 »In a calm voice tinged with a Belgian accent, Mohamed Bakkali denies any involvement in Ayoub el-Khazzani's terrorist project and in particular of having brought him back to Belgium.

For the personality investigator, this father of three children whom she met two months ago is probably " 

not the same man as in 2015



He started his thinking,

” she says.

I felt him in an authentic search to take his responsibilities, to understand how he got there,

 ”reports our special correspondent,

Laura Martel


Mohamed Bakkali describes a happy youth.

But after graduating from high school, he couldn't find a job and became a counterfeit seller.


I chose the easy way,”

he admits.

it was a mistake.

 If he acknowledges having had a "




of Islam, he claims on the other hand to have always rejected sectarianism and violence.

Friend of the Brussels suicide bombers in 2016

The Advocate General is convinced of the contrary.

He points in particular to these two months spent in Egypt in 2012, learning Arabic with an imam and the mosques frequented by Bakkali, some of whose followers have left for Syria.

But you do not quote all those who have not left

 ", remarks the accused, rather clever in front of the prosecution.

A friendship weighs heavily against him, however: that forged in Belgium in 2013 in an Arabic course with Khalid El Bakraoui then his brother Ibrahim, future suicide bombers of the

Brussels attacks of March 2016

and involved in those of November 13 in Paris, for which Mohamed Bakkali is also being sued.

Without denying his friendship, the accused assures him: he did not share their ideology.

To read also: Thalys attack: the revelations of the jihadist Ayoub el-Khazzani


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  • France

  • Terrorism

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Thalys attack: the revelations of jihadist Ayoub el-Khazzani